Caitlin Caiazza: Differentiation of Instruction
My name is Caitlin Caiazza. I am a dual-certified special education and mathematics teacher. I received my bachelors degree at Molloy College. I also played lacrosse at Molloy as well. In addition to teaching, I am a volleyball and lacrosse coach. I coach JV and 8th grade volleyball and 7/8th grade lacrosse. This fall, I ran the New York City marathon with the Team for Kids charity. The TCS New York City Marathon was the most rewarding experience of my life. I was able to share this experience with my students and athletes. I hope to have taught my students that when you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
The intent of this course is to show educators how differentiation of instruction is used and how to differentiate instruction in the classroom.
Topics that will be covered:
What is differentiation of instruction?
How can educators differentiate instruction?
What does the differentiation of instruction look like?
How can educators use differentiation of instruction to meet the needs of all learners?
Learners will be able to
-Identify the need for differentiation of instruction
-Identify way in which instruction can be differentiated
-Explain how an educator can use differentiation to meet the needs of all learners
1. Instructional Problem:
When most people in our society imagine a classroom setting, they imagine a teacher up at a board, lecturing students. However, if you look inside a classroom in America today, you will see a variety of students. Students often differ in culture, language, race, learning ability, motivation, socioeconomic status and more. Most classrooms contain a wide spectrum of learning skills. If a teacher main teaching technique is lecturing up at a board, how are the needs of all these different types of learners being met? Students come to our classrooms with a plethora of different backgrounds and resources. "All these students have the right to expect enthusiastic teachers who are ready to meet the students as they are, and to move them along the pathway of learning as far as fast as possible" (Tomlinson, 1999). A mini-course on Differentiation of Instruction is needed to address the diverse academic needs of all learners within our classrooms.
In order to meet the needs of all learners, Differentiation of Instruction must be integrated into classroom instruction. This mini-course will assist educators in implementing Differentiation of Instruction in their classrooms.
2. What they will learn:
Learners will learn the basis of Differentiation of Instruction. They will also learn ways in which they can differentiate instruction in their classrooms.
3. The Participants/Learners:
The participants/learners will consist of educators, undergraduate and graduate students studying education, administrators, and education professionals who are interested in meeting the needs of the diverse learners in classrooms. Instruction in the mini-course will be aimed for classrooms that contain high school level students. Most of these classrooms consist of students with an IEP or 504 plan. Although the mini-course is geared for toward high school students, what is learned can be adapted for lower or higher level classes.
4. Intended Change:
After this course, participants/learners will have the knowledge and tools to meet the diverse needs of all learners within their classrooms. They will have a clear understanding of how integrating differentiation will have a positive impact on all students within a class.
At the conclusion of this mini-course:
1. Participants/Learners will be able to depict the need for educators to differentiate instruction with 85% accuracy.
2. Participants/Learners will be able to express ways in which instruction can be differentiated with 85% accuracy.
3. Participants/Learners will be able to explain how an educator can use differentiation to meet the needs of all learners with 85% accuracy.
References and Resources
Tomlinson, C. (1995). How to differentiate instruction in mixed ability classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (1996). Differentiating instruction for mixed-ability classrooms [A professional inquiry kit]. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Winebrenner, S. (1992). Teaching gifted kids in the regular classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
Winebrenner, S. (1996). Teaching kids with learning difficulties in the regular classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.